Richards set for Pompey return

Last updated : 10 November 2007 By Ben Collins
The England defender suffered a knee injury in the Carlng Cup win at Bolton and was forced to sit out his first league game of the season on Monday as the Blues maintained their 100% home record with a 1-0 win over Sunderland.

Richards is now expected to return at Fratton Park and has kept his place in the England squad for the friendly against Austria and the final Euro 2008 qualifier against Croatia.

"At the time my knee felt really painful but a couple of days later it was a lot better," he said in his BBC Sport column. "It was only bruising."

Richards believes the City fans have been a big factor in the Blues' perfect home record and he is now hoping City can improve on the road.

"Portsmouth will be a tough challenge because, even if they are not doing so well in the league, going there is always a hard game and they are currently 5th in the Premier League," he added.

"People may say we are riding our luck at the moment, but we are not third for no reason. We have won 7 out of 7 in the league at home but we know there is room for improvement with our away record.

"I am not exactly sure what that is down to but it makes a big difference when you have 40,000 fans behind you at home. I did not think that when I used to watch games but when you are playing the crowd makes a difference.

"Whatever the reason, we have to get it right and start winning games away from home if we want to challenge in the top 6."